Picture Books and Emotional Resilience

Picture books are tools, not just for developing literacy skills, but also emotional skills. Our well-being depends on a set of emotional skills known as emotional resilience, or the ability to cope with difficult feelings, scary or traumatic experiences, life changes, and other adversities.

Emotional resilience lies in the ability to name our feelings and take them seriously, to recognize the impacts negative events have on ourselves, our communities, and the world, and to realistically imagine ways we ourselves can make things better in the future.

The following picture books open opportunities to cozy up, talk, and build the skills we need to get through life’s troubles together. Building and maintaining emotional resilience takes a lifetime, so these recommendations are for everyone!

And these titles are just the beginning! Your Youth Services staff and Matchmakers are always happy to find books to help you and your family through any one of life’s hardships.

Books for Trying and Trying Again 






Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi, illustrated by Lorena Alvarez

It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr

Books for Big Feelings






When Sadness is at Your Door by Eva Eland

Allie All Along by Sarah Lynne Reul

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna

Books for Personal Traumas






After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

Books for the World’s Grief






Come With Me by Holly McGhee

The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul


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